Anu's Kitchen Pongal & Khichdi Recipes

Foxtail Millet Maple Sugar Pongal

Happy Pongal/Sankranthi to everyone who celebrate! This year, I tried my hands at making millet sakkarai (sweet) pongal and I’m here to share the recipe. I have used Foxtail Millet. It is called “Thinai or kambankorai” in Tamil. Millet are loaded with nutrients and I try to include them in our meal as much as possible.

My husband’s cousin visited us for the holiday season. She brought us maple nuggets (sugar) all the way from Canada. We definitely loved all the goodies/gifts 🙂

Though I have tasted maple syrup, this is first time that I got to see the maple sugar crystals. I felt that it tastes like “Naatu sakkarai”.

Traditional Pongal recipe calls for Jaggery. Since I didn’t have it at home, I used maple sugar crystals for this recipe.


  • Foxtail Millet: 1/4 cup
  • Moong dal : 1/2 cup (1:2 ratio, millet:dal)
  • Maple nuggets: 1/4 cup
  • Ghee : (1 + 1) tsps (1 tsp for frying and reserve the remaining)
  • Cardamom powder: 1/2 tsp (or more per your taste)
  • Salt: a pinch
  • Cashews & Raisins (optional): few
Millet Sakkarai Pongal
Millet Sakkarai Pongal


Preparation Method:

  • Dry roast millet and dal until hot or till you feel the sweet smell of dal. It is not needed to wait till the color changes to brown.
  • Add 1 and 1/4 cups of water and pressure cook the mixture for 4 whistles. (1:2:5 ratio of millet:dal:water). You can add 1/4 tsp of cardamom powder to the water and cook the dal for wonderful flavor and aroma.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp of ghee in a pan and fry cashews and raisins. Keep it aside.
  • In the same pan, add maple crystals and 1/2 cup water (1:2 ratio sugar:water) and bring it to boil. Make sure that the maple crystals are dissolved completely. Stir occasionally. If we are using jaggery in the recipe, we need to filter the jaggery water for impurities and then bring it to boil.
  • Once the syrup starts boiling, add remaining cardamom powder, salt and cooked millet mixture. Mix well.
  • Add remaining ghee (1 tsp) and stir well.
  • Add cashews and raisins and mix well.
  • Serve hot.
Millet Sakkarai Pongal
Millet Sakkarai Pongal

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